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Earl Scruggs Center's Guitar School starts on March 11

If you've ever wanted to learn how to play guitar and didn't know where or even how to start. And even if you've been playing a while and wanted to hone your chops, then the Guitar School at the Earl Scruggs Center (103 S. Lafayette St., Shelby) may be just the thing for you.

According to Crest Middle School Orchestra Director and ESC Guitar School instructor, James Justin Harper, the classes are a "...new implementation of the Musical Explorations lessons" offered by the Center on Saturdays. Harper and Mary Beth Martin, Executive Director of the Earl Scruggs Center, noted the School's Session Schedule is as follows: the mornings of March 11 and 25; April 8 and 22; and May 6 and 20. Mrs. Martin also noted more information about this and other classes and events the ESC is doing can be found posted on their website at earlscsrugscenter.org.

Said Martin, the gist of what they are wanting to do and who they are wanting to reach with these classes can be simply asked in thetwofollowing way, "Do you know of a young musician who is interested in learning guitar?"

If so, she noted that "...learners between the ages of 8-15 are encouraged to sign up for a six-session Guitar School with instructor Justin Harper. Participants must commit to all sessions and are encouraged to bring an instrument. Class size is limited and registration ends on Wednesday, March 8."

Martin noted registration ends on Wednesday, March 8, adding the registration fee of $15 is a one-time fee for ALL six (6) lessons.

"But students can call and request a scholarship (fee waived), if there is a hardship," she said.

She continued, "The scholarships and instruments are available in a limited quantity on request, so please call us at (704) 487-6233, to learn more about that aspect."

Harper, who is leading the guitar workshop is a Cleveland County native and, as was noted earlier, a music teacher who has been teaching guitar lessons for 20 years to

students of all ages.

Justin is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University (B.M. in Music Education and Composition, M.Div. Intercultural Studies) and is also a musician, songwriter, and Minister of Music at Central United Methodist Church of Kings Mountain.

Harper reiterated their "target age range" for the classes is from 8 to 15 years of age, noting they want to reach out to the beginner and intermediate-range of guitar players and interested pickers.

"Students are encouraged to bring their own instrument, but if they don't have one, try to let us know and we'll try to secure an instrument for use during the lesson," said Harper.

Martin noted, "...the journey to learning an instrument is vast and wide. Sometimes learning without leadership can be difficult. There are so many options these days with the expanse of technology that beginners can become easily overwhelmed. The Earl Scruggs Center is offering a unique opportunity for youths to have high quality lessons with a local educator at an exceptional rate."

Students will learn more than just the basics of their guitar, including: how to play chords and read chord charts; how to play melodies and songs; how to read tablature (a number system for reading guitar music); exposure to a variety of styles with a focus of personalizing lessons toward individual student interests; and how to become a life-long learner of the guitar by using technology and finding guitar literature.

She continued, "Justin is looking forward to meeting excited and committed young people who want to have the experience of a life-time discovering the same love and joy of the guitar that he found as a young person. There are limited spaces available and there are only 15 slots so sign up today!"

The Guitar Classes Lessons are sponsored by the Dover Foundation Grant.

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